The Nigerian Senate Tuesday asked the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to refund over N382m the corporation claimed it spent on firefighting operations in Komkom, Rivers state, and Ijegun Lagos state.
“That NNPC (and NPSC) should refund to the treasury, the outrageous sum of three hundred and eighty-two million two hundred and three thousand fifty-five naira seventy-four kobo (N382,203,055.74) only it claimed to have used in firefighting operation in Komkom and provide evidence of compliance to the committee on downstream petroleum sector,” the chairman of an ad-hoc committee set up to investigate the explosion in Komkom, and in Ijegun, Lagos state Abdullahi Gobir said.
“That the incidents in Rivers and Lagos states were avoidable if the NNPC/NPSC and the contractors maintaining and monitoring the pipelines were proactive,”
In June, there was a pipeline explosion that reportedly killed 43 people in Komkom and a similar explosion in July in Ijegun which reportedly killed 11 people.
To probe pipeline explosions in the two states, the Senate, set up an ad hoc committee chaired by Gobir.
Presenting the report, Gobir said the vandals’ exposed pipeline to leak after “puncturing and siphoning petroleum products.”
He said the NNPC and its contractors were aware of the pipeline leaks in Komkom and Ijegun but delayed in taking action.
Gordi also asked NNPC to start the process of deploying modern technology in pipeline surveillance and detection of leakages as well as introduce cathodic protection on the pipelines.
“That NNPC (and NPSC) should carry out proper check on all the petroleum product pipelines across the country to ascertain their status for either repairs or total replacement,” Gorbi said
Gobir also asked that the governments of Rivers Stated and Lagos state, as well as all pipeline host community leaders, to sensitise all occupants of pipeline right of ways to vacate it.